Pulling the Purse Strings: Ukraine Forum on Asset Recovery Pursues Funds of Former Senior Government Officials

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Led by the United States and the United Kingdom, the international community met this week to take steps to trace assets allegedly stolen through corruption by former Ukrainian leaders and return them to Ukraine. Senior government officials, policy makers, judicial experts, prosecutors, financial intelligence analysts and regulators met Tuesday and Wednesday in London at the Ukraine Forum on Asset Recovery (UFAR) to have a direct exchange and plan practical steps. As happened with the Arab Forum on Asset Recovery formed in 2012 following the Arab Spring, the formation of the group likely heralds a host of potential enforcement actions—not only freezing and forfeiture of potentially stolen assets, but possible wide-ranging bribery and money laundering investigations akin to those now being conducted in relation to Libya—for those suspected of involvement in the theft of assets, as well as those institutions and businesses where former Ukrainian officials’ assets are located.

Following closely on the heels of sanctions and freeze orders by the European Union and the United States, the primary objectives of UFAR include facilitating international cooperation for the early tracing of assets and identifying specific capacity building needs for Ukraine. US Attorney General Eric Holder announced at the conference that the Department of Justice would be placing a Justice Department attorney in Kyiv to work exclusively on asset recovery and mutual legal assistance. He also announced the formation of a dedicated kleptocracy squad within the FBI.

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Topics:  Corruption, Foreign Official, Russia, Ukraine

Published In: General Business Updates, Elections & Politics Updates, International Trade Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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